Philips, Amsterdam hospital partner on new diabetes treatments

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Philips and Amsterdam Medical Center (AMC) announced they're collaboration in a clinical study of a new, minimally invasive treatment for diabetic foot and critical limb ischemia (CLI) last week. At the moment, there is no diagnostic method to immediately evaluate the result of an angioplasty - the currently preferred treatment option to restore blood circulation in a foot.

"This could be a paradigm shift in our approach to critical limb ischemia," Professor Jim Reekers, interventional radiologist at AMC said. "If we can predict the effect of treatment immediately after re-vascularization, then we will have a head start in developing a proactive care plan for the patient's recovery at home, instead of a more reactive approach."

Diabetic foot can occur when nerve damage resulting from diabetes prevents a patient from noticing cuts, blisters or sores on their feet. Damaged blood vessels make it more difficult for these injuries to heal, as too little blood and oxygen gets to the foot, according to the National Institutes for Health in the United States. The chronic condition CLI also triggers severe pain in the feet or toes, even while resting," according to the UC-Davis Vascular Center.

The injuries often lead to amputation. Severe diabetic foot complications, which are a result of hampered blood circulation, affect millions of diabetic patients around the world. The cooperation of Philips and the AMC is aiming at developing a diagnostic tool to assess treatment results quicker.

"The first observations using the new diagnostic technique are consistent and promising, and have already provided valuable insights into many pending questions regarding critical limb ischemia," Reekers added.

The International Diabetes foundation estimates that 387 million people are living with the condition. The figure is expected to double in the next 20 years. The current preferred treatment is image-guided minimally invasive treatments that aim at reopening major blood vessels in the foot.

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